Are You Ready? Trying to Conceive after Stillbirth
Another concern couples face when deciding to get pregnant is how friends and family will react to the news of another pregnancy. Some misguided relatives assume that a new pregnancy means that you don’t still need to talk about your baby who died, or that you’re “over it.”
Other family members may feel concerned about a subsequent pregnancy. Catriona Harris of Orlando, Florida, shares, “My parents mentioned that they would like to see me wait, but we explained to them that was not the best choice for us, and they were supportive. I think they wanted to see us heal first. What they didn’t know was that having another baby was a major part of the healing for us.”
Pros and Cons of Waiting to Try to Conceive
Some reasons parents decide to wait include:
- Allowing more time to work through grief from your loss.
- Continuing to rely on support of family and friends who might take a new pregnancy as a cue that you’re completely recovered from your loss.
- Looking for the health benefits for mother and baby with more time elapsed between pregnancies (studies by the US Centers for Disease Control and the University of Chicago both found that the chance of delivering a premature or underweight baby are higher for women who become pregnant within six months of a previous full-term or near-term delivery).
Disadvantages to waiting a long time include:
- A longer period for you to worry about infertility and a subsequent loss.
- If you and/or your partner are older, the biological clock is ticking, and fertility drops each year.
Pros and Cons of Trying to Conceive Quickly
Sara Alford, who lives near London, England, says that she wanted to start trying “immediately!” after the death of her first son in November 2002. In hindsight, she thinks that she probably should have waited a bit longer to try for another, “but there was no way anyone could’ve told me that so that I would have listened [at the time],” says Alford.
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